Sunday, July 19, 2009


I thought I could beat them. I thought that I knew I had what it took to overcome vine borers without having to resort to chemical pesticides like Malathion. Floating row covers, pantyhose wrapped stems, aluminum foil, neem oil.... all were supposed to defeat, nay, intimidate and thwart the squash vine borers but it seems that I cannot win against this foe.

All summer I have been on the lookout for the vine borers and all summer I continued to find marks of the borers, white nasty grubs in cut, slit vines and I've been planting new seeds, new seedlings every few weeks only to find more tiny red eggs and fracas on them eventually.

I was under the impression that my zone/area only had one season of borers/a few weeks period of time that they were really laying, but it's been over a month of fighting and I had troubles last year and this year is a mess too.

I keep finding empty cocoon cases too near the squash area and I can only believe them to be those of the matured borer larvae turning into moths.

I have been lucky that it seems a butternut squash vine (much less susceptible I learned from borer attack) has seemed to be surviving, even sort of thriving and climbing, but I am not holding my breath in expectation of fruit making it to maturity.

I'm slightly bitter as I was growing such beautiful zucchinis and acorn squash 2 years ago, which started the whole squash growing interest in me, but I am just exhausted having to fight these nasties. Attempting to save numerous plants by investigating each stem, leaf, base and bud for eggs, holes/fracas, slitting open vines to extract borers, then having to bury and water saved vines and destroy the bad ones just takes too much time and I am an entirely too impatient person to deal with this.

So much for the extra squash seed I still have on hand...

So, as you might guess, at this point, I am throwing in the towel for a year or maybe two working on eradicating all borers as well as I can on my property (though I know they can still fly in any time) and will be focusing on other vegetables, preferably Methuselah ones in place of the squashes.

Anyways, RIP my squash growing days, until another time.

1 comment:

Stephanie Camille Miller said...

we found here in memphis that lemon squash from Johnnies seeds lasted the longest. While the borers got most people's, we had continuous fruit all summer, and the vine borers finally took over in sept.!

(this was last year, we didn't grow it this year)